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, Volume 48, Issue 1–2, pp 29–40 | Cite as

The formalization of case study research in international business

  • Pervez N. Ghauri
  • Rebecca Firth
Methodological Paper

Abstract

Qualitative case study research has frequently been criticised for being less systematic and objective than other approaches. Ambiguity in the way case studies are selected, empirically conducted and analysed, often exists and can hinder the positive dissemination of research. This paper aims to outline how case study research can be undertaken using the example of the authors' current case study research into interfirm services linkages between UK multinational subsidiaries and local firms in China and Korea. A particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of case studies and the benefits of computer aided qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS). An integrative approach is taken through the use of Nvivo software. It is argued that the use of Nvivo can help researchers systematise and order data, enabling a more thorough and reliable analysis. If qualitative case study research is to become more accepted and publishable, its transparency must be improved. The use of a standardized type of data analysis software may go some way towards helping researchers achieve this goal.

Keywords

Case studies CAQDAS Nvivo Analysis Linkages 

Zusammenfassung

Gegenüber qualitativen Fallstudien wird vielfach der Vorwurf eingebracht, diese wären zu wenig systematisch und objektiv in ihrem Ansatz. Es gibt eine Reihe von Unklarheiten darüber wie Fallstudien ausgewählt werden, empirisch durchgeführt und analysiert werden. Dies behindert die positive Aufnahme des Fallstudienansatzes in der Forschungsgemeinschaft sowie die Verbreitung entsprechender Forschungsarbeiten. Dieser Artikel stellt einen Strukturierungsansatz vor, wie Fallstudien systematisiert werden können. Dabei wird auf eine aktuelle Untersuchung zurückgegriffen, in der zwischenbetriebliche Firmenverknüpfungen („linkages“) zwischen Tochtergesellschaften multinationaler Firmen aus dem Vereinigten Königreich und lokalen Firmen in China und Korea betrachtet werden. Besonderes Augenmerk wird dabei auf die Vorteile der Nutzung computerbasierter Datenanalysesoftware (CAQDAS) gelegt. Wir stellen einen integrativen Ansatz vor und nutzen das Nvivo Softwarepaket. Es wird argumentiert dass Nvivo ForscherInnen in der Systematisierung und Analyse von Daten hilft, und einen Beitrag zur Verlässlichkeit der Untersuchung liefert. Wir sehen eine Zielsetzung darin qualitative Fallstudien als ein zuverlässiges und attraktives Instrumentarium für Forschung und Forschungsdokumentation zu etablieren. Daher ist es unabdingbar die Transparenz in der Analyse und Dokumentation der Untersuchung zu erhöhen. Eine Strukturierung und Systematisierung hilft dabei dem Ziel näher zu kommen.

Schlüsselwörter

Fallstudien CAQDAS Nvivo Analyse Firmenverknüpfungen 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC-UK) for funding the study reported in this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Department of ManagementKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Manchester Business SchoolManchesterUK

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